The few small lakes and bays that surround Gainesville are popular sites for recreational boating as well as commercial sightseeing. For those injured in boating accidents in the Gainesville area, recovery through a lawsuit is possible.
If you are injured in a boating accident in Gainesville, call the police and report the incident. Boating accidents in the area must also be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). Victims should also report their injuries to medical professionals to confirm them. As of recent changes to the filing of deadline, victims of boating accidents in Gainesville now have just two years to sue a negligent party for compensation. Victims can use various types of evidence, including witness statements, medical records, and footage, to meet the burden of proof against a defendant in Gainesville.
Call our Gainesville, FL boating accident lawyers at (305) 204-5369 and schedule a free case evaluation with Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today.
Reporting a Boating Accident in Gainesville, FL
After being injured in a boat accident in Gainesville, victims must report the incident to the police and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Reports should be made as soon as possible so that the necessary agencies can properly document an accident. Victims should also report their injuries to medical professionals by visiting the hospital after an incident.
Any boating accident that causes injury to a victim must be reported to the Gainesville Police Department. It is best to alert the authorities immediately after an incident so that they can arrive at the scene and create a report. You can report any type of boating accident to the police in Gainesville, including drownings, capsizes, crashes, or other incidents that result in injury. Our boating accident lawyers can use information learned in a police report to gather evidence that can improve your compensation claim. If you did not call the Gainesville Police Department immediately after your boating accident, you can self-report in the days following the incident.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
All boating accidents that occur in Florida waters must be reported to the FFWCC. While the purpose of the FFWCC is not to gather information that might help victims in lawsuits for compensation, the agency might learn of important details when investigating an accident and its impact on the environment. After reporting your boating accident, you can contact the FFWCC to get an update on its findings and see if anything the agency has learned anything that might help your case against a negligent party.
Victims of boating accidents in Gainesville are not legally required to report their injuries to medical professionals. However, going to the hospital and getting your injuries assessed will be vital to the success of your lawsuit against a negligent party. Going sooner rather than later is preferable so that there will be immediate and accurate medical records of your injuries. Victims should continue to seek medical attention as necessary in the days and weeks following an accident on a boat in Gainesville.
When to Bring a Gainesville, FL Boating Accident Claim
Immediately filing a lawsuit for compensation after a boat accident in Gainesville is important. This is especially true now, as Florida recently shortened its statute of limitations for such claims.
Previously, the filing deadline for personal injury claims arising from boating accidents in Florida was four years. In March of 2023, the time to file was shortened. Now, victims have just two years to sue a negligent party for injuries sustained in a boating accident. This shortened timeframe means that victims must act more quickly to recover compensation for their damages.
Regardless of how long you might have to sue, bringing a case as soon as possible is important. When victims wait too long to name a defendant in a boat accident lawsuit, they risk undermining their case. Injuries might appear insignificant, and damages might appear unrelated to a negligent party’s actions.
Evidence Needed in a Boating Accident Case in Gainesville, FL
Because boating accidents occur off land, little evidence may exist to support a victim’s claim for compensation. That said, several pieces of evidence can be crucial in a boating accident case, which victims can begin gathering immediately after an incident.
Witness statements are typically helpful in injury claims arising from boating accidents. If you were injured on a commercial or recreational vessel, people might have witnessed your accident. You can get their contact information and statements to support your claim. Testimony from other witnesses, like police officers and experts, can also be positive evidence against a negligent party.
Certain injuries are more prevalent in boating accidents. For example, anoxic brain injuries from drownings and injuries sustained during falls into the water are somewhat unique to these incidents. Despite the fact that you have sustained injuries, you will need medical records to confirm your damages. Based on the type of injuries you sustained, you can more easily prove that you were injured in a boating accident involving the defendant.
Footage and Photographs
Though not always available in injury cases for boating accidents, footage and photographs can be used as evidence against a defendant. If you are able, take pictures of your injuries and what caused them. For example, if you fell overboard because of a lack of guardrails, photograph the area. Some commercial and recreational vessels have surveillance systems. If security cameras aboard a boat filmed the accident that caused you injury, you can use that footage as evidence. It is important to act quickly in obtaining security footage if you do not own the vessel on which you were injured to ensure it is not deleted.
Call Our Lawyers About Your Gainesville, FL Boating Accident Case
Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A at (305) 204-5369 and get a free evaluation of your case from our boating accident lawyers.